In short….very important!
We get asked questions about chimney sweeping a lot and the most common one is “how often should I have my chimney swept?” The answer to this question is “at least once a year”. There are a number of factors involved but as a general rule, even if you do not read any further you should have it swept before use each Autumn.
Does it Make a Difference What Type of Fire I Have?
If your fire a wood burning stove, solid fuel stove or an open fire the rules are the same. Sometimes stove owners feel they do not need to have their chimneys swept as often but this isn’t the case. What a lot of people do not realise is that it is even advisable to have your chimney swept if you have a gas fire. The reason is that things can fall into the top of the chimney and things like birds nests can cause issues too.
How Often Depends on Use
If you use your fire every day from October right through to the Spring then you should look to having it swept every 3 months. However, some people only use it on weekends or if it is very cold so naturally they can expect to need the chimney swept less often. The more you use your fire or stove the more chance there is for build up of residue that could narrow the flue. The amount of residue also depends on the fuel you are using. If you are using good quality kiln dried or well seasoned wood the risk is lower but burning poor quality unseasoned wood can be very damaging. Of course, there are extremes of wood and some wood can be good enough but not ideal and burning this sort of wood will mean more sweeping is needed.
What Happens if I Don’t Get My Chimney Swept?
It is natural to question advice from time to time so it is important to look at some of the issues associated with a chimney in a poor state to understand how important it really is. The first issue is the air flow could be reduced. This means getting a fire going will be harder. This could be especially problematic on very still days and nights where there is very little wind movement to aid “pull”. This means your fire wont really get going or you have to keep blowing it or adding more fire lighters etc. Other issues could be for more dangerous, with low air flow comes the risk of gases like carbon monoxide seeping back into the room. This is, of course, highly dangerous and should be taken very seriously. It is essential to have a carbon monoxide sensor placed in a suitable location in the room with the fire.
We take great pride in our customer service and the advice we offer to our customers old and new. If you would like to find out more about the reality of having a real fire then pop into our fireplace showroom in Woking. Our friendly team can talk you through the best way to care for and enjoy your fire for years to come!